Join a close-knit community at the Institute of Management Technology Dubai – Siddharth Sharma
“Dubai is literally a gateway to the Middle East and North Africa, which makes completing an MBA here very exciting and full of new prospects.”
Established in 2006, the Institute of Management Technology Dubai (IMT) is an international business school located in the United Arab Emirates that offers students a wide range of undergraduate and post-graduate programs. The school is dedicated to providing students with a diverse and close-knit community, strong academics, numerous industry collaborations and an entrepreneurial mindset.
IMT Dubai’s mission is to develop young leaders and professionals who are business ready, socially responsible and aware of challenges such as sustainability, ethics, environment, and multi-cultural societies. How do we develop students to become young professionals? This year at IMT Dubai we implemented a year round soft skills program that trains students in various areas through mock interviews, personality tests, skills specific tests and many workshops and team dynamics.
– Abhiruchi Abrol, Sr. Student Recruitment and Marketing Officer, IMT
SchoolApply interviewed MBA student, Siddharth Sharma, to learn what his academic and social experience has been like at IMT so far.
INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Student Name: Siddharth Sharma
Graduation: March 2019
Favorite class: My favorite class would be the Strategic Marketing module that helped me appreciate the larger role marketing plays in a business.
Favorite school event: In October 2017 there was a city-wide fitness challenge called the Dubai 30×30, where Dubai residents committed to 30 minutes of physical activity for 30 days. IMT was one of many organizations that were part of the initiative. Those 30 days were nothing short of exhilarating – each day we had a different session planned, from Yoga workshops, Zumba sessions, Bhangra workouts to outdoor beach tennis! It was all tiring, but also so much fun!
Five words to describe the Institute of Management Technology: Informative, Multi-faceted, Supportive, Rigorous and Fun!
Tell us a little about yourself, in what places have you lived and studied?
I’m 25 and am currently in the first year of my MBA. I completed my undergraduate degree in Media studies and worked in advertising for three years in Mumbai. I like playing tennis, try reading at least a book a month, and cannot stay awake after 10PM!
My family initially lived in Mumbai and then shifted to a small town in North India called Dehradun for about 4 years. We moved again and I ended up completing my senior school in New Delhi. Eventually, I achieved my undergrad degree in Pune and then went back to Mumbai where I started an advertising business. Then, I finally decided to do my MBA – so here I am in Dubai!
How did you end up in the field of advertising?
There was a Ray-Ban commercial called “Never Hide” that used to come on TV when I was 15 years old. Those images of the concert stage, the bungee jump, the tagline – it defined what “cool” was to the 15-year-old me, and I decided I wanted to be a part of this profession. My family incidentally bought a DSLR camera around the same time and I basically spent my senior years in school attached to it.
My portfolio got me into a media college where I majored in Advertising. It was during my undergrad studies that I learned there’s more to advertising than simply creating a film. Learningthe science behind advertising further piqued my interest in the field. After interning with a couple of advertising agencies (Publicis and BBDO), I shifted my focus to digital advertising. All of this culminated in my first job at an advertising agency in Mumbai, where I had the absolute time of my life.
How did you hear about the Institute of Management Technology and what made you decide to study in the UAE?
My criteria while selecting a school were affordability, quality of education, and school size (I prefer working in small groups rather than large). IMT ended up meeting all my specifications. A close friend of mine was part of the same program last year and he recommended it to me. Besides that, a few of my friends lived in Dubai and they were absolutely in love with the city. I took their advice and packed my bags.
Did you have any problems adjusting to life in a new country and university? If so, how did you overcome them?
Dubai is a city that is familiar with welcoming people from all around the world; about 85% of the population are expats. Moving to any new city is challenging – but the warmth and support of the IMT staff and professors go a long way in settling into the life here. The school arranged a week-long orientation program to help us learn more about life in the UAE. I had the opportunity to meet people from different walks of life, got to explore the city with my classmates and learned more about the local culture and history of Dubai.
What degree are you pursuing and why?
I’m pursuing an MBA in Marketing. At this stage of my career, I am excited by the prospect of being able to influence a brand from the ground up. My aspiration is to transition from executing marketing communication on the agency side to strategizing in a brand management role at a consumer-facing business. To this end, I figured the exposure to key analytical techniques that an MBA gives, coupled with foundation courses in subjects such as Supply Chain, Corporate Finance, and Data Analytics would be perfect.
Do your current studies support your interest and talent? If so, how?
Eight months into the MBA program, I now feel the MBA means lots of different things to different people and it is my responsibility to make sure I tailor the experience to my own interests and passions. To that effect, my current studies have provided the exact platform I was looking for. I was keen on delving deeper into marketing analytics and the program has also given me the opportunity to meet industry leaders and top professors in the field. I was always fascinated by the FMCG industry and learning more about it in my classes has been eye-opening.
What has your academic and social experience been like as an international student at the Institute of Management Technology?
I wasn’t sure what to expect as an international student in Dubai. However, it’s been a rewarding experience meeting and working with people from all across the globe. I think there is no harder task than to define who the average Dubai resident is – in the last 8 months I’ve worked with people from India, other GCC countries, Lebanon, UK, South Africa and countless other nationalities. And that’s what makes the city so much fun! The campus is located in Dubai’s Academic City – we have regular sports matches and competitions with the 15 other colleges in the area.
In the beginning of our term, the school organized a Middle East Immersion program in which we visited landmarks and local businesses in the UAE. Also, to help us settle into our new environment, students take part in a Cultural Orientation week in which we discuss local laws, things unique to the Middle East, UAE history and even visited the Dubai Museum.
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What were your first impressions of the Institute of Management Technology?
I had been in touch with a few other students before our term started and it was exciting to finally get to meet them in person. Our program chair was especially involved in helping us settle into the life here – from restaurant recommendations to how to use public transport – he helped us out a lot! I was initially taken aback by the fast pace of the program – it was unlike anything I had experienced before. Eventually, however, we all became better at managing our time and juggling classes, assignments, group meetings and projects.
How has IMT prepared you for life after college?
Efficient time management, meeting people from diverse backgrounds and a lifelong desire to learn are some traits and skills that I have acquired during my time here. IMT, with its network of colleges, has a large alumni population scattered across the world. It is exciting to see the kind of opportunities that open up with a simple LinkedIn request or an email to those who once lived the same experience that I am living right now at IMT!
Do you take part in any extracurricular activities at IMT?
I’m part of the Corporate Relations Team and the Student Ambassador Program at IMT. As part of the Corporate Relations Team, I reach out to businesses in Dubai for industry lectures, training programs and short-term projects. As part of the Student Ambassador Program, I volunteer for a few hours every week to assist the admissions department with anything that their team is working on. Besides that, I try participating in various intra-university competitions that are organized by students of various clubs within the university.
Do you have a job while studying? If yes, please elaborate on this experience.
Yes, I am working with a start-up in the corporate wellness space and it has been amazing! I worked with the marketing department in conceptualizing and executing B2B online and on-ground campaigns. I also had the opportunity to work alongside the tireless founder and now better understand how much really goes into launching a company.
What would you say to international students who are considering studying at IMT?
While studying at IMT, I have realized the importance that peers, students and the community at large play in the quality of education we ultimately receive. I think IMT’s strength lies in the small community the school has built, by maintaining a small classroom size, having professors who are accessible outside classes, or the fact that you eventually end up knowing almost everyone by the end of your first year.
Dubai is literally a gateway to the Middle East and North Africa, which makes completing an MBA here very exciting and full of new prospects.
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